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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

The Grammys are arguably one of the biggest nights in the music industry. It’s the one night a year made for major artists in the industry to display their craft of music that they all objectively worked hard on. As well as an opportunity to receive formal recognition for their efforts in their craft. While some of the current biggest names in music have yet to win their Grammy, winning one is still considered quite an honor. Even being nominated for one is an exciting accomplishment. Unfortunately, getting nominated and not going home with anything can only be so exciting the first few times. 

To be more specific, Elizabeth Grant, otherwise known as Lana Del Rey is an artist who comes to mind that is long overdue for her Grammy. Despite receiving criticism for being a “Nepo baby,” she initially launched her career as an indie artist. Her first public music release was her debut EP album, Lizzy Grant — which was also her stage name before “Lana Del Rey.” Her next album, Born to Die, released in 2012 and put her on the map as an artist. Since then, she has grown into the Lana Del Rey that we know as a major pop sensation of our generation. 

Earlier in the year, Lana del Rey and Taylor Swift collaborated on the single Snow on the Beach. At the 2024 Grammys, Lana Del Rey was nominated for Album of the Year for her most recent album, There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard. Taylor Swift won her 13th overall Grammy in this category for Midnights. The controversy lies in the reactions from Swift and Lana Del Rey. When Swift received her award, she tried to bring Lana Del Rey on stage with her. It was, arguably, a very awkward interaction. Swift was winning her 13th Grammy while Lana del Rey was going home, yet again, to zero Grammy awards. Taylor is a talented artist, and I don’t want to pit the two against each other. This is just one major example of an artist not getting a Grammy that fans would argue they deserve to win. 

This scene at the Grammys made for quite the reaction on social media. Swifties were of course quick to defend Taylor. Lana Del Rey fans were upset with Taylor’s reaction. Their perspective was that it was salt in the wound for Lana to go home to yet another year with no Grammys. However, Lana Del Rey has addressed that there are no hard feelings. According to Chelsey Sanchez of Harper’s Bazaar, Lana del Rey said “I literally did not feel 1 ounce of negative emotion at any point in that awards ceremony. It was pure funniness and laughter.” Overall, the night was still enjoyable for artists, Grammy or no Grammy. 

Lana Del Rey has created a unique image of herself in the media as more than just another pop sensation, at least in my opinion. She has unsurprisingly received praise for this as well as criticism. Her style of music isn’t the typical upbeat pop that is associated with the genre. She has a darker ballad style with a homage to vintage influences. Her sound has also influenced her overall aesthetic as an artist. She has dived into darker topics in her music such as relationship and substance issues. This has overall made her less digestible to the typical pop critics and audience. Despite these challenges, she’s still a major influence in the pop music scene. Dare I say, she’s one of our generation’s biggest influences in modern music. She stands out uniquely by taking bold risks and being true to herself in a way that other pop artists arguably haven’t reached. At least not in the same way that Lana del Rey has. 

Not only does she stand out like a shining star, but her light has influenced other popular artists in the genre. Billie Eilish gives credit in an interview to Lana del Rey for inspiring her recent song, What Was I Made for. In another interview, Kali Uchis shares how it was a dream of hers to go on tour with Lana Del Rey. Madison Beer also credits Lana Del Rey for being an overall influence in her music. It’s easy to see that Lana Del Rey is an influential artist not only to fans but within the music industry. This makes it even harder to understand why she doesn’t have a Grammy, Swift controversies aside. 

I am a big fan of all the artists mentioned so far. Calm down Swifties, Taylor Swift is still one of my top artists. I recently got into Taylor Swift and saw her for more than just the basic girl-next-door image that the media seems to portray her as. However, I’ve been a big fan of Lana Del Rey since Born to Die. I basically grew up listening to Lana Del Rey. She’s consistently been one of my top artists on Spotify for several years in a row.  I have to give Lana Del Rey the credit she deserves. Especially since the Grammys won’t give her that credit. Swift aside, Lana del Rey does deserve to win a Grammy, and hopefully, that will happen soon. 

Salma is a junior at VCU majoring in digital journalism and minoring in psychology. She loves iced coffee, going out with her girls, and watching old movies.